Roles in Archive: Artist
b. 1977 Houston, Texas
Stephen G. Rhodes mines the recesses of American history to create videos and sculptural installations that summon up the ghosts of the past that continue to haunt our present. In his Vacant Portraits 35-36 (2008), this metaphoric haunting is given a physical presence through spectral images that are reminiscent of the pseudo-mystical special effects practiced by Nineteenth-Century spirit photographers. In the installation Interregnum Repetition Restoration, Upholstered (2008), Rhodes depicts former US presidents as masked characters making absurd gestures. Embracing the legacy of artists such as Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, Rhodes depicts historical events as nightmarish traumas, combining dark visions with carnivalesque irreverence.